More than two-thirds of people (68%) underestimate the cost of elderly care, according to consumer comparison service uSwitch.
uSwitch research found consumers underestimated annual elderly care costs by almost £8,000.
Tom Lyon, money expert at uSwitch.com, said: “These findings show how unprepared we are when it comes to funding the care for our elderly parents. It is a sobering thought that it could now cost more to look after an elderly parent than to raise a child, adding extra pressure on families when household budgets are already squeezed.
“Families who do not have their affairs in order and are unable to access Government support could be facing a future of crippling debt. With this in mind, it is never too soon to start talking about the cost of care. The sooner you start the conversation, the sooner you can start planning for it.”
More than three-quarters (76%) of millenials expected their parents to pay for their own care, with almost a third (30%) of over 55s admitting they did not how they would pay for their care.
One in five (19%) said they planned to sell their homes to fund their care.
Eight in 10 families had never discussed paying for care and only 12% of over 55s had discussed their care costs with their children.
Nearly half (44%) of millennials had not even thought about caring financially for their parents.
uSwitch found less than one in ten (8%) people feel prepared for the cost of their parents’ elderly care and one in four (25%) are concerned about being responsible for it. A further quarter (23%) did not want to even think about the financial challenge ahead.